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A member asked:

can appendicitis be chronic?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Garrett Caldwell
Dr. Garrett Caldwellanswered
Family Medicine 9 years experience
No: Appendicitis is not chronic. It is possible to have chronic irritation to the appendix, but it is not a chronic infection. If infected, the appendix is removed. However, even after an appendectomy, it is possible to get appendicitis again. Usually a little stump of the appendix is left and this can, rarely, get infected again.
Dr. Cynthia Point
Specializes in Internal Medicine
Yes: It can especially if you are middle aged or older. What has happened is you have had small repeated infections, and now have a chronic condition. It isn't the most common presentation, but can happen.
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Exceptionally rare.: 99.9% of the time, inflammation of the appendix will lead to rupture within 2-4 days if left untreated. "chronic" appendicitis represents the very rare patient whose appendicitis resolves without treatment, only to recur at a later time. Nevertheless, if i were to evaluate someone with chronic abdominal pain, this would be very low on my "differential diagnosis".

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A 38-year-old member asked:

Can you treat appendicitis with medicines?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Yes, but....: Some people will respond to IV antibiotics in a hospital setting, however most people won't and we have no reliable way to predict who will get better and who will get (much) sicker. Therefore, in all but the most unusual circumstances, the benefit of surgery far outweighs the risk.
A 43-year-old member asked:

How long do the symptoms of appendicitis last?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Days: Appendicitis is an acute illness which leads to rupture if not treated within days of it's onset. Once in a blue moon, the body will seal off the rupture, leading to a prolonged low-level infection that can "simmer" for weeks; however, most people have so much pain prior to rupture that they seek out medical attention before this can occur.
A 41-year-old member asked:

What is the very first symptom of appendicitis?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
"stomach ache": Appendicitis usually begins with ill-defined abdominal pains not unlike a "normal" stomach ache, often associated with nausea and a poor appetite. Typically within 24 hrs, the pain appears to change, becoming sharp, constant, and well-localized to the right lower abdomen.
A 39-year-old member asked:

What other common or serious conditions mimic appendicitis?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Ruptured cyst/Crohns: It is often difficult to distinguish inflammation in the right ovary or fallopian tube from appendicitis. Therefore, a ruptured ovarian cyst or pelvic inflammatory disease can look just like appendicitis. In men or women, inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis can have similar symptoms and signs. Though not perfect, cat scans have helped differentiate these diseases.
CA
A 40-year-old member asked:

Why is it sometimes difficult to diagnose appendicitis?

2 doctor answers1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Everyone's different: In my experience, about 1/2 of all people that i see with appendicitis come in with classic signs and symptoms that make the decision to operate quite easy. However, there is a lot of variability in the description and location of the pain, as well as other diseases that can resemble appendicitis. Added to this is the fact that we want to operate as soon as possible, before the appendix ruptures.

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Last updated Dec 17, 2019

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